The US Economic Development Administration, part of the US Department of Commerce, has announced that the Bowie Economic Development Corporation and the Town of Bowie will receive a grant of $ 1.4 million.
Janis Crawley, Executive Director of BEDC, was delighted to announce receipt of the grant this week more than a year after the original application was submitted.
Local entities will receive $ 1,460,000 in economic adjustment assistance-COVID 19-recovery and resilience projects with a local investment of $ 365,000, providing a total of $ 1,511,000 for the improvement of the park’s infrastructure Bowie business.
Crawley said they were informed in August that the grant had been approved pending all final legal formalities, and at the end of September she was released. The BEDC counterpart was also increased to $ 300,000 from the 4A board of directors and $ 300,000 from the 4B board, which she said meets the initial grant request.
The project will construct a specific building in the park of approximately 10,000 square feet, while increasing the size of Gardner Road adjacent to the park property.
“We want to open up this area of the property as commercial lots and then build the speculative building. This can be reduced somewhat because the cost of construction has doubled since the request was made. There isn’t enough money to do both, but I’m in talks with the EDA about this, ”the director explained.
The pandemic and related supply chain issues have led to a significant increase in building materials such as plywood, but there are also shortages due to a range of issues from staff shortages to businesses trying to come back after they have closed. during the pandemic.
The grant application said this project would help the city recover from the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, as well as an F-1 tornado that hit the city in May 2020.
“When completed, the project will generate employment opportunities and attract private investment, which will strengthen the regional economy and advance economic resilience across the region. The beneficiaries estimate that this investment will help save eight jobs and mobilize $ 800,000 in private investment, ”states the grant application.
The manager said that a specific building is what everyone is asking for, so if it’s available, they can fill it up faster and start a business. Depending on the grant, the BEDC will own the building for 20 years and it will be available for rental.
“Ultimately, this gives us the tools we need to complete the business park so that it is complete and attractive to business and industry prospects. This grant is a fantastic project that takes the park further. The opening of this part will allow people to understand the industrial side of the park. The Walters Complex is a great commercial property, but this building gives us the opportunity to attract primary jobs, which is the ultimate goal of BEDC, jobs that build community, ”Crawley explained.
Bowie’s Business Park had its first grand opening for a business in mid-September when Walters Land Surveying Company LLC opened its recently completed office complex. The 5,300 square foot building has two units under one room with the survey firm in one and the other 2,500 square foot unit available for rental.
The Walters purchased a two-acre plot in the park on the commercial side and began land work in April 2020. Patrick Walters said they were very happy with how the units turned out and said s ‘they were renting this one, they would like to build more offices in the park. Crawley called the opening of the Walters building a great way to kick start business development in the park.
The Bowie Business Park was completed in late summer 2017 and is located near the intersection of US Highway 287 South and Farm-to-Market Road 1125. The ground was cleared a year more early. The park was funded through the 4A Economic Development Sales Tax and $ 1.5 million in tax obligations through the BEDC.
Located on 123 acres, the park was built for $ 2.3 million, providing what the team at BEDC calls “out-of-the-box” construction sites for the expansion of commercial and industrial businesses and opportunities. sale to detail.
The director of BEDC said they had completed some of the initial paperwork and the local counterpart of $ 600,000 had been placed in a restricted account. Hayter Engineering was hired to do the survey and preliminary studies for Gardner Road. Crawley said they hope to launch deals in the coming weeks.